Howdy Blog O’ Doomers!
Obviously it’s been a very melancholy sort of week since the last Open Mic with the death of Dusty Rhodes. For me my wrestling fandom came from my dad when I was a little kid growing up in the panhandle of Florida. Usually the Graham’s Florida territory didn’t make their way up to where I lived back then since Pensacola-through, they tended to stick between Tampa and Orlando and would usually do a Jacksonville show or two during their summer tour each year and maybe once every year they would get to Tallahassee also. But my dad would drive me and my mom to Jacksonville in like the late 70s and early 80s to see my aunt and uncle and he and my uncle would “go to the fights” and he always would bring me back a program. But he loved Dusty Rhodes, Wahoo McDaniel and Harley Race and Blackjack Mulligan and the Funk Brothers and all those guys that would work Florida. So when we’d watch Crockett Promotions or Championship Wrestling from Florida it was always about those guys. I used to love his hair — that old redneck sort of perm he sported — and my dad was so into the promos of him and all the guys. He was such a mark….
Anyway as I got older, married and moved to the Tampa Bay area…Once in a while we’d go to the FCW tapings on Dale Mabry in Tampa and after the card Dusty would stick around and meet the fans. I always enjoyed the way he interacted with the younger fans. He’d ask them who their favorite stars were and sign autographs and take pictures. And he had this cowboy he would always put on these kids before the picture so this oversized hat fell over their faces and then he would flash that smile. It was the cutest thing and he just seemed to really be drawn to fans and people in general. As a mom I’m always interested to see how people treat kids and he was just so kind and funny and personable with them.
It was big news in this area when he died. Big in the papers, big on the sports radio and you would hear these stories about him working the armories in Tampa or New Port Richey or Plant City or the Bayfront Center in St. Petersburg (for the really big arena shows) and afterwards he’d see some fans and ask where the party was or where the barbecue was (in those days the big arena show was usually held in the early afternoon on weekends so they could work another house that night or vice versa) and as the stories go he would actually stop by the parties and the barbecues to meet the fans and have a drink or eat a burger or try to find him a nice woman for the evening. The more you hear the stories…the more you realized that Dusty really was a unique figure and a larger-than-life guy here in Florida during that period. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do for him tonight and on the network.
On TV tonight
The Tampa Bay Lightning will attempt to save the world from the evil known as the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
College World Series…I think Virginia vs. Florida is the game tonight.
Ray Liotta is narrating “The Making of the Mob” on AMC, it’s like 7 or 8 parts.
Apparently there’s a new Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives tonight on the Food Network.
Bachelorette and other reality crap
Enjoy. Keep it clean.